“The Martial Arts’ Dirty Little Secret,” by Nhan-Esteban Khuong, L.Ac.

“Historically, the Martial Arts have produced some of the world’s wisest and most enlightened individuals as is often noted in classical Asian literature and folk stories. They were champions of peace, honor, courage, and all that is good.

If you scratch beyond the shiny surface of the chivalry and heroics however, we start to see an entirely different world. A world of fear, paranoia, treachery, and colossal egos.

Obviously, this is a huge generalization and I can’t really comment on the masters of old, but I’d go so far as to say that the modern Martial Arts community is plagued by a sense of volatile inadequacy.

My intention with this post is not to call out self proclaimed masters, keyboard warriors, or forum trolls to a bloody grudge match of egos, but rather to point out a festering eyesore within our community in order to eliminate it, or at the very least minimize it and set in motion a possible solution.

Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of feeding the ego feud with harsh reactions and selfish pride, but at least I’m aware of it and actively working on myself in order to grow as a conscious being helping to perpetuate a sense of giving and gratitude.”

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  1. …take a look at some of our recent and known master strategists. John Boyd, a little known genius, was personally abrasive and obnoxious. Patton’s personality defects are pretty well known. MacArthur both lied about the WWI action for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor, and holed up on Corregidor while Bataan across the bay was under siege. he thus gained the nick-name “Dugout Doug”. both, however, were masters of offensive warfare in their day.

    in Hagakure the author draws a distinction between war time warriors, who are loud, crude, self-aggrandizing and deceitful, and peace time martial artists. the comparison is fair, pointing out the foibles of the warrior, but contrasting unfavorably with the superfciality and fragility of peacetime practitioners.

    Musashi relates that weapons are regarded as ill-omened, but that if you are born to the caste who traditionally use them, you ought to use them well. then goes on to assert that a sword is a tool, no different in principle than a carpenter’s plane…

  2. Charles, thank you for a word on Musashi. I wonder what he would say about conflict resolution with abrasive individuals who provoke you on purpose, knowing your background in martial arts.

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